Chronotopes of Conversion and the Production of Christian Fundamentalism in the Post-Soviet Arctic

in Sibirica
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Abstract

This article discusses the contribution of the chronotope as an analytic category in studies of Christian conversion, applying it to postsocialist religious changes in the Russian Arctic. Looking through basic categories of human experience—space and time—the article focuses on the comparative analysis of the two missionary movements working in northwestern Siberia—neo-Pentecostalism and Baptism. The article examines postsocialist Evangelical missionary movement among the Nenets people who live in the Polar Ural tundra. The Nenets tried out multiple faiths on the emerging religious spectrum, choosing in the end fundamentalist Baptism. The article elaborates on possible conditions that made Christian fundamentalism appealing in this part of the Arctic. I suggest that Nenets historical experience as a colonized periphery of the Russian state, particularly the Soviet experiments with space and time, have bridged Nenets social expectations and a radical form of Evangelical Christianity.

Contributor Notes

Tatiana Vagramenko is a postdoctoral researcher at University College Cork, Ireland. She is also an affiliated research fellow at the Centre of Arctic and Siberian Exploration, the Sociological Institute of the Federal Centre of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Tatiana received her PhD in anthropology from National University of Ireland, Maynooth. Her research interests are in the areas of anthropology of Christianity and Arctic studies. Her research to date has examined the phenomenon of post-Soviet Evangelical movements in the Russian Arctic and religious conversion among the Nenets indigenous people. E-mail: tatiana.vagramenko@ucc.ie

Sibirica

Interdisciplinary Journal of Siberian Studies

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